The glory of the grot box

I’ve got a grot box – and I’m gonna use it!!!


Yes, as you will have noticed it’s a Behritone C50A wedged in under my main speakers not Avantone Mixcube.  I did seriously consider the classic Mixcube but the killer was the 2.5 kg power lump, the bloody speaker only weighs about 3!  So this is Behringer’s homage and the specs and performance are close enough for the intended purpose; mid-range hell.  In fact they have engineered this so well that stocks are thin in the UK due to strong sales.

The idea is you add a non-full range mono box to your monitor setup to listen to the all-important middle of your song, not the bottom, not the top but the central girth that is all some listeners will hear on their crappy playback systems.  It ruthlessly smashes your guitars together with the bass and drums in the area of the mix where there is a finite amout of space.  It tells you if you have successfully carved out space for the lo-mids of the rhythm section, if your vocals are cutting through without shredding the mix and your panned guitars are all audible and meshing without losing definition.  Being mono it also straightaway outs any nasty phase cancellation.  All these things are part of a tough, clear mix.  I spent a large amount of burn-in time listening to favourite tracks through this to see how top productions translate on speaker that rolls of both ends of the spectrum.  Not pretty, but solidly focused and with all parts of an arrangement audible, apart from some that weren’t, intriguingly.  My new learning curve is to attempt a mix on this speaker only, then see how it sounds on the main nearfields.  If it sounds acceptable on this it is guaranteed to translate well upwards.  I also plan to experiment with crafting an old school mono mix or two.  When I played the original mono single mixes of “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere” and “Day Tripper” loud on this box, they sounded awesome.  There’s a lesson right there.

Sound on Sound were sniffy about the C50A claiming mid-range distortion and slow transient response.  Phooey say I.   Of course the ‘cube is superior but there is 80% of the performance here and it doesn’t come with a free heated housebrick.  And anyway the key function is mid-range investigation and that grotty black hole is giving me the information I need to mix better.


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